PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Invisible Decrease

Link easily to this tutorial in your patterns: www.planetjune.com/invdec

If you’ve been making amigurumi, you may be lamenting the gap or bump that forms when you decrease. The standard methods of decreasing are to sc2tog, which can leave a bit of a bump and a small gap, or to skip a stitch, which leaves an obvious gap. There has to be a better way… and there is! The invisible decrease really is as good as its name claims – it’s almost impossible to see, even if you know what you’re looking for. (See my blog post for a comparison of these three methods.)

The invisible decrease method will probably take a few attempts to master, but, just like the magic ring, it’s one of those techniques that’s so good, you’ll wonder how you ever crocheted without it!

How do I make an Invisible Decrease?

Choose your preferred learning method! I have video and step-by-step photo tutorials, all for right- and left-handers. Continue to:

Invisible Decrease for right-handers

Before we begin:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch (2 loops on hook). DO NOT YARN OVER:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch. To do this, you’ll need to swing the hook down first so you can insert the hook under the front loop. (3 loops on hook):

Swing hook down…

…then up through the front loop of the next stitch

Yarn over and draw through the first two loops on the hook. (2 loops on hook):

Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook. Invisible decrease completed:

Now let’s play a game: spot the decrease…

Good, huh? Give it a go with your next ami – I promise you won’t regret it…

Invisible Decrease for left-handers

Before we begin:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the first stitch (2 loops on hook). DO NOT YARN OVER:

Insert the hook into the front loop of the next stitch. To do this, you’ll need to swing the hook down first so you can insert the hook under the front loop. (3 loops on hook):

Swing hook down…

…then up through the front loop of the next stitch

Yarn over and draw through the first two loops on the hook. (2 loops on hook):

Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook. Invisible decrease completed:

Now let’s play a game: spot the decrease…

Good, huh? Give it a go with your next ami – I promise you won’t regret it…


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171 Comments »

  1. Patsy said

    Thanks so much for generously sharing how tos and tips on techniques you’ve devised! So far the one I use most is this invisible decrease and the other I’ve made lots of use of is the perfect stripes no cut method. I’ve used the latter most in regular crochet projects like hats because I do more of that kind of crochet than amigurumi. I have also made use of your video about crocheting tubes for amigurumi in creating tusks for a Razorback hood I made a fan. Thank you, June!

  2. Laura Paul said

    Thank you for the great tips. You are an angel. I’m left handed and have learned to read patterns backwards but always have trouble with the pictures and video instructions. Thanks again for the lefty version. They are great tips. Love the invdec.

  3. Anna said

    This is a great tip you’ve shared and even though I am new to crocheting, I can definitely see the advantage to this method of decreasing. Glad you’ve kept the post up all these years.

  4. Dorothy Stuhr said

    Thanks so much June. I was doing it wrong, I would yarn over to soon and then again! I am making a doll and the decreases looked awful. So I went back to your tutorial and it’s perfect. Thanks, you are an valuable asset to the crochet community.

  5. MindeeK said

    This is absolutely fantastic. THANK YOU!

  6. Sandy said

    I tried your decrease for the snowballs and I’m confused a bit . I like how it looks on the inside but, on the outside you see the back loop. What am I doing wrong?

  7. Lily said

    Oh My Gosh! This is fantastic! I’ve been crocheting for several years and always cried a little inside when I had large gaps in my decreases while making amigurumi! I will do it this way from now on! Thank you!

  8. bonnie greenhoe said

    thank you so much for your free patterns . I love them all. I want to make the booties and a blanket for my 2 grandbabies that were born in june.

  9. Nicole T Permenter said

    Purchasing one of your patterns was well worth it, just to find out about this stitch. Lol

  10. Hillary said

    Oh my gosh! How. Fabulous! Thanks so much for this!

  11. Naomi said

    Oh. MY. GAWD. This is exactly what I was lamenting about with my last amigurumi piece and you have answered it so clearly and easily. I will try this for the next one. Thank you!!!

  12. Kerry said

    Thanks so much for this. As I’ve done the standard decrease before it’s often been in my head to wonder if exactly what this tutorial shows would work … and it does. So maybe I should listen to my inner voice more often – which is what you obviously did.

    I love your tutorials which are so easy to follow – and so very helpful. Thanks again.

  13. Danielle said

    Hi June! I’ve always found your website so helpful. But I’m currently struggling to find an answer to this reacurring problem I have. I’m making an animal head, the pattern calls for one row of 4sc, Dec., next row 3sc, Dec., next 2sc, Dec., next 1, dec, then dec around. Ive used the invisible decrease. But when I close up the hole, it pulls all the stitches wide open.

    Do you think the decrease in the pattern is just too fast? Is this a tension issue? I reached out to the person who wrote it but all they said was they never had a problem with the decrease. So I don’t know how to fix it!!!

    I hope you can help!

    • June said

      Without seeing the pattern, I can’t tell if it’s a pattern issue or an issue with your hook/yarn combination or stitching. I’d suggest that you try following one of my PlanetJune amigurumi patterns (if you don’t want to buy one, you can just pick something simple from my free patterns – an apple or pear would be a good test) and see if you find you have the same problem with your decreases:

      • If you don’t have the same problem with a PlanetJune pattern, then the pattern you were using must be the cuplrit!
      • If you’re still seeing the same problem when using my pattern, and you’re definitely forming the invdec stitch correctly, you may be using too large a hook for the yarn you’re using (it’s important to crochet amigurumi with a smaller hook than usual, to keep your stitches tight and avoid holes).

      I hope that helps! (If not, see my Perfect your Invisible Decreases tutorial for further assistance on avoiding gaps.)

  14. Amanda Watson said

    I really would have been glad if I had known about your invisible decrease, when I was working on a “Crochet Yoda” from my sister’s Star Wars Crochet book.

  15. Jo Ann McNeil said

    Thank you so much, going right now to try this on my next project. I don’t know if it would ever be called for but is there a way to do this with double crochet?

    • June said

      Hi Jo Ann, yes there is! I’ve already given details in a previous comment, here 🙂

  16. Elaine said

    Thank you for providing instructions for left handers too!! It has been difficult for me to find any instructions for left handers. Everything I make comes out backwards because what is the right side for right handers is the wrong side for left handers. I try to refigure everything so that it comes out right, but am not always successful.

  17. AT said

    Hi, many thanks for your tutorials. 🙂

    I have a question about the invdec. I get how it works, you have to use the front loop when decreasing. However, is this before or after turning the amigurumi the ‘right’ way? Do I have to use the back loop if I decrease before turning?

    Thanks in advance for your response. 🙂

    • June said

      If you watch my ‘Which is the Right Side?‘ video, you’ll notice that the front sides of the stitches always face you while you’re crocheting, whether you’ve flipped your piece inside out yet, or not. So you should always invdec using the front loops (i.e. the loops closest to you while you crochet), as the unworked back loops will all end up hidden on the inside once the piece is right side out.

      If that doesn’t seem to make sense, just try making a couple of decreases and then flipping your piece inside out and back again, and you’ll see how it works in practice 🙂

  18. Sarah Lewis said

    Greetings from Portsmouth, England. Excellent tutorials. I wanted to thank you not only for being so generous with your skill and time but for including us left handers. Off to try an amigurumi Unicorn.

  19. Rita Silveira said

    Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

  20. hi june,

    thank you so much for sharing this method!! I did use it on an amirugumi owl (this is how I first got to your blog) but I have tried it with vests and tops!

    it really works wonders!! and the more I use it the easier and more instinctive it becomes!!

    thank you again!!
    and keep up the good work 😉

  21. Dianne U said

    June, your way of making amigurumi is amazing and outstanding! I only wish I had found you much sooner. I’ve made several items over the past few years, but now – with your methods to help me improve – they look awful to me. Your tips and tricks make the world of difference in the quality of my pieces and I’m forever grateful and thankful for your expertise! Bless you and thanks again.

  22. Debbie said

    I’ve never made anything amigurumi. The Crochet ball that you showed us how to make will be my first. I am so excited. I will make so for my cat. i am also going to try and make ninja turtles in memory of our son who passed away. He collected the old Ninja Turtles. I still have them.

  23. Tesia said

    This works so well, I had to start using markers during the decreasing rows in my work. I can’t tell where my decreases are anymore. Love it. Thanks!

  24. Hi! I love your tutorial for this invisible decrease! I’m inquiring if you would allow me to link to this in a pattern I am writing for a bear pattern? I will give you credit in the pattern (obviously since it’s going to your blog!).

    Thank you for your consideration!!

    • June said

      Absolutely! You’re very welcome to link to any of my tutorials in any of your patterns – please see my linking policy in my FAQ for the best way to do this.

  25. Tania Oliveira said

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge so clearly.
    I am now starting with amigurumis, and your tutorials are wonderful.
    Thank you, God bless you greatly

  26. Lois said

    Can you please tell me what size safety eyes I need to use?

    Thank you.

    • June said

      Lois, that depends on what you’re making! Most of my patterns use 8, 9 or 10mm eyes, but there are some that use 6mm or 12mm. All PlanetJune patterns list the recommended eye sizes in their description in my shop (and on page 1 of the pattern itself, if you’ve already bought it).

  27. Donna said

    Hi June,

    My hat is off to you. You do beautiful work. You’re an inspiration to all crocheters. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing work. You are a true artist.

  28. Kathy said

    My pattern calls for a Double decrease (using 3 stitches). Can this be accomplished using your invisible method? Thanks 🙂

    • June said

      Kathy, you can use this method for a decrease over more stitches, but it won’t be invisible: changing 3 (or more) stitches to 1 is always going to leave a bump and/or gap, however you do it – it’s the nature of such a large decrease. I suggest you try it in your pattern, compare it with a standard sc3tog, and see which result you prefer.

  29. Rachel said

    Thank you so much for this! I love doing amigurumi and didn’t realise there was such thing as an invisible decrease! I hated having the bumpy side showing on some of my creations. I’m getting out of bed just to try this out now!

  30. Leelou de France said

    Hi ! I like your patterns and purchase several. They are clear and, MORE in these patterns they are links to all your technical explanations. And these explanations are also so clear !! You are really a MASTER, “the” TEACHER !! THANKS, THANKS, so thank for sharing all your knowledges !!!! Leelou
    (I hope that you understand my approximate english 😉 …..)

    • June said

      Thank you, Leelou! I’m so happy you find my patterns and tutorials to be clear and helpful – that’s what I aim for 🙂

  31. Debby said

    THANK you !! I was making little crocheted toy balls for my grandson, and did not care for the little holes where the stuffing could come out – your version is perfect !!

  32. Pat Reynolds said

    This is a great tutorial ty for sharing
    g

  33. Lynsi said

    AMAZING. Mind blown. I’m never doing another type of decrease again!

  34. robin quade said

    Thank you for explaining this method, but do you need to go in the front loop for the rest of the stitches in the row?

    • June said

      Definitely not, Robin – changing to front loops only would change the look and shape of your stitches. Invdec is only used as a direct substitute for sc2tog decreases; all the other stitches in the pattern remain unchanged.

  35. Habiba said

    Hey June! I really dont get the invisible dec method
    I have a round that says
    [ inv dec , sc 4] around { 36}
    How do i do it??

    • June said

      The ‘invdec’ in your pattern is just the invisible decrease I show above – an invisible way of turning 2 stitches of the round below into 1. If you don’t understand the way your pattern is written, you should contact the designer for assistance 🙂

  36. Stacey said

    I LOVE you! lol Thank you so much this is amazing! I definitely do not regret learning this ;)! and I am sorry I haven’t found this sooner!! But, oh well, from now on, no more visible decs!!

    Thanks again!

    Cheers! xo

  37. Perrie said

    Thank you for the tutorial. I’ve been crocheting for a long time and I never heard of this stitch. It’s so invisible that I’m amazed at how I can now hide my decreases. Very cool. JAH BLESS AND ONE LOVE! !

  38. Nicole H said

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and creativity with the rest of us! Special kudos for including left-handed instructions! Now to go try to master the MC. It’s usually hit-or-miss whether or not I get it right.

  39. Celine said

    Thank you so much for your tutorial! My decreases looked horrible before. I tried your method and it works like magic : no visible decreases anymore! Thanks again!

  40. Jessica said

    I am 18 and I just started to crochet recently, I love it. The only problem I had was the way my decreases looked, this is great. Thanks a lot.

  41. Irene Foss said

    Thank you very much for the lesson on invisible decrease. I had never heard of it before. But then when I started crocheting again this spring it had about 35 years since I had done any crochet.
    This will be so nice to use in the 2 crochet sweaters I’m making for 2 great grand daughters. The pattern has a pretty yoke and lots of decreases. I was so glad to see the post by Sam Said asking if the invisible decrease could be done in dc. The yoke of the sweater is made in dc. I am just getting to the point where I will be starting the decreases and will use the invisible technique

  42. SallyStrawberry said

    Hi June,

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have used the invisible when making some toadstools and the comparison between the ones I made before I learned this method of decrease and the one I have made after are tremendous! A pic can be seen in my latest post at http://sallystrawberrycrochetandknitting.blogspot.co.uk/

    Thanks again for such a brilliant tutorial!

    Sally x

  43. Great tutorial! Thank you for this!

  44. t.hoang said

    I don’t get how this is different than single crocheting two together other than going only through the front loop…? or is that the magic difference?? 😮

    • t.hoang said

      wait, nvm. i see the difference :]

      • Less bulky? said

        Does the invisible decrease work because it is less bulky?

        • June said

          Yes, and the invdec essentially pulls the stitches below together with a sc stitch, instead of a sc2tog which is formed from the bottom half of two sc stitches joined together at the top. Removing that extra half stitch does makes the decrease stitch less bulky, and the resulting stitch also looks the same as all the surrounding sc stitches, so it’s harder to spot.

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    June Gilbank

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